Herman Melville has nothing on the researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. For one thing, you can read their article in the time it takes to leisurely eat a banana… I could never get past the first sentence of Moby Dick.
It all started when Delphine “Ishmel” Mathias and Aaron “Ahab” Thode from Scripps were called on by a snarling mob of Alaskan cod-fishermen who demanded something be done about their missing cod. The belligerent fishermen reported seeing groups of sperm whales loitering around some of their equipment and cod missing from their lines. Since sperm whales usually hunt alone and in much deeper water, everyone knew something was fishy. Whether it was due to scientific curiosity or the fear of drunk men with anchor tattoos, Mathias and Thode set out to capture visual and audio recordings of the pillaging whales. The audio is of interest since no one really knows how the whales use sound during their foraging, how the sound is produced, or if any information about the individual whale can be deduced from it.
Here’s a wholesome quote from the article:
“The Alaska video allowed Mathias and Thode to not only match the size of the whale’s head with its acoustic signal, but permitted them to infer the size of its spermaceti organ, which produces a white, waxy substance previously used in candles and ointments, as well as the so-called “junk” inside the whale’s head. The junk is a large organ that is believed to play a role in transmitting sound from the whale’s head.” Be careful to keep that quote in context.
If you recognize this delinquent, please call your local CrimeStoppers.
As you can hear in the video, the very loud clicking gets even louder and faster as the whale closes in on the doomed cod.
Rumor has it that after many failed attempts to rid the fishing waters of the sperm whales, the two researchers were forced by the seamen to walk the plank. We believe they are now swimming with the fishes.